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The Collected Short Stories

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  3,475 ratings  ·  163 reviews
This is a complete collection of the superb short stories which have appeared in Over To You, Kiss Kiss, Someone Like You, Switch Bitch and eight further stories: "The Umberella Man"; "Mr Botibol"; "Vengeance is Mine, Inc"; "The Butler"; "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life"; "The Bookseller"; "The Hitchhiker; and "The Surgeon".
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published 1991)
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Matilda by Roald DahlCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlThe BFG by Roald DahlThe Witches by Roald DahlJames and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl
21st out of 33 books — 134 voters
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330th out of 2,473 books — 4,791 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steve Carpenter
Jun 30, 2007 Steve Carpenter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone with a sick sense of humor
Shelves: lightreading
By far one of my favorite collections of short stories. If you really enjoyed thinking of Roald Dahl as the sweet children's author of the BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate factory then you shouldn't pick this one up. Dahl shows his truly sick and twisted colors in these wonderfully colorful, tales- each with its own twist or cliffhanger at the end. Dark, explorative, and quite a refreshing read.
I can't get enough of Roald Dahl! I'm in the middle of too many books right now, but I couldn't resist when I came across this treasure at the library!

Dahl is a marvelous storyteller--simply brilliant!--but I sometimes wonder if I would enjoy his adult short stories as much if I hadn't first loved his children's books as a young girl. (This--which is probably true for most of us--is actually a reversed order. Dahl began his writing career with these short stories, and most of his children's clas...more
An African Story :(
Only This :)
Katina :/
Beware of the Dog :)
They Shall Not Grow Old :(
Someone Like You :(
Death of an Old Man :/
Madame Rosette :)
A Piece of Cake :(
Yesterday Was Beautiful :(
Nunc Dimittis :)
Skin :)
Man from the South :)
The Soldier :(
The Sound Machine :/
Mr. Botibol :)
Vengeance is Mine Inc. :)
The Wish :)
Poison :)
Taste :)
Dip in the Pool :/
The Great Automatic Grammatizator :)
Claud's Dog: The Ratcatcher :(
Claud's Dog: Rummins :(
Claud's Dog: Mr. Hoddy :(
Claud's Dog: Mr. Feasey :(
My Lady L...more
There are a few weak stories in here -- The Last Act and The Surgeon: oy -- but for the most part this collection is definitely one to pick up if you're a Dahl fan. A lot of the classics are in here, like Lamb to the Slaughter and Man from the South, but so are a lot you've probably never read. The stories are in chronological order, complete with parallel a time line showing what was going on in Dahl's life and in the rest of the world when each story was published, which alone is worth the pri...more
Ruby  Tombstone [Uncensored or Else]
I've always thought of Roald Dahl as a children's author. I've had this book sitting on my shelf for over a decade, and it never occurred to me to have a look at what was inside of it. Now that I've started reading short stories in between novels, a Twitter buddy suggested a story from this book: "Lamb To The Slaughter". Who knew? It's a great story, simply and smartly told, with wry humour. I think it's too early to rate this book, but I'll definitely be reading more of it.
wow, i mostly loved this collection. the one thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is that not all the stories are 5-star quality. in fact, there's a good stretch of stories in there about being on a greek island during war or something, through which i drudged, slept, and finally wised up and skipped. roald dahl: not just for children. in fact, i wouldn't recommend many of these stories at all for children.
Khenan Bragador
Simply awesome! :) the Roald Dahl imagination that i loved in all of his children books added with a wicked sense of humour made these stories a great read. I believe this anthology contains all but severl of his adult short stories. from some big twists from switch bitch to stories about the war in over to you. I think my favourite stories were:
Katina - pilots in greece find an orphaned girl. I re-read this one several times while reading the collection.
The Wish - Very short story about a boys...more
At nearly 900 pages this book is a force to be reckoned with. And being as it's a collection of short stories, it's not meant to be read all at once. If you check it out from the library you may need to renew it once or twice. The stories are in chronological order. Most of the first ones about about flying, reflecting Dahl's experiences as a pilot in the RAF during World War II. The stories are of varying lengths, but all are of about the right size to read in bed at night before you fall aslee...more
Selentingan entah dari mana pernah membisiki aku kalau Roald Dahl itu seorang misantrop. Entah benar apa tidak, tapi cerpen-cerpen beliau dalam antologi tebal ini bisa saja menegaskan anggapan demikian. Semua kisah memiliki plot yang 'menikung' tajam di akhir cerita, dikisahkan dengan bahasa yang santai tanpa emosi tipikal Inggris.

Cerpen yang paling mengesankan buatku, lupa judulnya, adalah tentang istri polisi yang membunuh suaminya dengan paha domba beku dan kemudian menyajikannya ke polisi-po...more
Joakim Ruud
Very disappointing. I love his children's books, but with a few exceptions these short stories are all fluff. It seems like his process is to first find some "clever" twist and then painstakingly construct a narrative so that it will end on the twist. More often than not, both the twist and its attendent narrative are cheap, uninvolved and obvious. The huge exception is the collection of stories from his time in the war. They are everything that the rest of these are not: honest, fresh and engag...more
Before I read this I only knew Roald Dahl as a children's author. I started with the expectation of a sparkly, mischievous, unpredictable read in the likes of the BFG or James and The Giant Peach. After having read "The Way Up to Heaven" and "Parson's Pleasure" I found myelf annoyed and dissapointed: The stories were sparkly but only mildly mischievous, and, as the cover proclaimed, I was "expecting the unexpected" soon enough. Somehow the surprise wears off if every short story has a twist at t...more
Stuart Langridge

This complete collection of Roald Dahl's adult short stories includes all those from his books 'Over to you', 'Someone like you', 'Kiss Kiss', 'Switch bitch' and 'Tales of the unexpected'. Also included are eight stories taken from other sources, two of which, 'The bookseller' and 'The surgeon' have not been published before in book form.

Containing all the stories from Roald Dahl's world - famous books - Over to You, Someone Like you, Kiss Kiss and Switch Bitch - plus eight fur

Nicole Wonka
I want to marry his books. I always loved Roald Dahl's twisted writing, even his seemingly innocent children's stories. If you really go through all the stories eg. Mathilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they are actually very gruesome, very dark and deliciously wrong. His adult stories are fantastic, I like how most of his short stories end. It doesn't give away the ending, or leave you hanging, he gently leads you to a conclusion without even spelling it out for you. Off the top of my he...more
Absolutely brilliant - Dahls proves himself as a master of both children's and adult's fiction. I especially loved 'Lamb to the Slaughter' - I really love the way Dahl's mind worked!
Every vegetarian should read the short story titled, "Pig".
Krum Kirov
Twisted and breath-taking, a must-read!
Uttam Pal
May 22, 2010 Uttam Pal rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Uttam by: Sumitash Jana
Shelves: unfinished
I read only four short stories from this book."Yesterday was Beautiful" was my first random choice. The story goes as follows:

[An English RAF pilot has ejected from his plane and parachuted onto a Greek island. He sprained his ankle when he landed and he's now looking for a boat to take him back to the mainland. The village he finds is nearly deserted though. Eventually he finds an old man sitting near a drinking trough and asks him if he knows of anyone with a boat. The old man is muddled and e...more
Reading all of Dahl's adult short stories in one place is quite a pleasure. It also gives one the opportunity to see common themes that run through a lot of his work. Firstly there's a sort of lazy, colonial racism that probably stems from him being a product of his time than anything more sinister. There's a certain disregard and disrespect for woman that to some degree might be dismissed on the same grounds, but actually feels a little more nasty in places.

Most of all, you get to see how much...more
To many readers around the world, Roald Dahl is known as a inventive, witty writer of children's stories such as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "The Witches", "Matilda", "The Fantastic Fox", "The BFG", "James and the Giant Peach", just to list a few. He is also, however, equally prolific in adult literature, especially short stories. Dahl began writing around the same time as Ray Bradbury, and his short stories have that same feel as early Bradbury...not in the style of prose, but in the d...more
I remember, as a child, enjoying Roald Dahl's children's books so much that I eagerly began to look for more of his work. I eventually found a collection of his short stories in the general fiction section for adults and gladly took it home with me, despite my secret suspicion that the library had misfiled his book. After reading various stories, including "Bitch" and "The Great Switcheroo," I realized too late that the book was, indeed, filed correctly, and that through my curiosity I had stumb...more
I first knew about Roald Dahl when I was read 'James and the Giant Peach' during elementary school, but had never gotten around to personally reading any of his books (I was an Enid Blyton fan instead back then). So this was my first Roald Dahl book, and it did not disappoint. This book is an omnibus of five compilations of short stories, totalling 52 short stories, each about 10~20 pages long. The first set of stories from the 'Kiss Kiss' were homicide stories that were a bit too dark for my li...more
Roald Dahl certainly had me fooled with all of his spectacular kids' books. Here I am thinking that the man had the soul of an eight-year-old, but this book of short stories has certainly set me straight. The first collection, from his book "Kiss Kiss" is the perfect group to open with as it shakes you off of your chocolate factory foundations and into the world of macabre, heart-wrenching, and hilarious twists that take up the pages that follow. Definitely worth reading, even if you only pick o...more
Prima sezione: KISS,KISS
Sono racconti deliziosi che riguardano famiglie (coppie annoiate per la maggiore) alle prese con situazioni decisamente stravaganti, che tuttavia vengono affrontate con sconcertante nonchalance! Quello che mi è piaciuto di più è "William e Mary".

Seconda sezione: OVER TO YOU
Frutto delle esperienze realmente vissute da Dahl, sono storie ambientate fra piloti di guerra;ci sono sempre elementi insoliti, ma meno sentiti, e un'amarezza di fondo dovuta all'argomento.Mi hanno int...more
When everyone said the stories in this collection were markedly well written I invented an fantastical expectation wherein Roald Dahl was a writer whose dual geniuses bifurcated him so completely that only sacrosanct ditheistic terms would be appropriate descriptors. Instead I found that these "adult" stories were constructed in the exact formula that Dahl used to craft his children's stories, except most here include elements of sex and death. Main characters still turn in to squawk-talking goo...more
Mar 31, 2014 Cassie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Heller fans, military readers
Recommended to Cassie by: library
Shelves: parody-and-spoof
I was so excited to check this out at my library and more than a little bit let down with the results.

Dahl's writing style for adults, at least in the first 12 stories of this collection, screams with a "Catch-22"/Joseph Heller reminiscence. It's topsy-turvy, militaristic, jokes that fall short of landing the punch line. I wanted to soar through these stories, but most of them ending up being a trudge.

I truly enjoyed "The Sound Machine", Pig", "The Umbrella Man", and a few others, but I am gui...more
Any collection of short stories is going to have hits and misses and fortunately this contains more hits. As a point of fact this is in fact a collection of collections comprising of five of Dahl’s books (Kiss Kiss, Over to You, Switch Bitch, Someone Like You and Eight Further Tales of The Unexpected).

The stories in Over To You did nothing for me and count against the book but the rest deliver some startling stories with great twists. Not to mention that Dahl is a superb exponent of his art. It...more
Excellent collection by Roald Dahl, nicely sick and twisted. You've got the two classics, Lamb to the Slaughter and Man of the South, and plenty of other great stories that I personally hadn't heard of before. I particularly liked The Great Switcheroo and Bitch. But there are so many others. Excellent read and nothing like his children's books, way more daring.
I can't remember how long it took me to realise Roald Dahl didn't just write for kids (I think I was probably hitting my teens)- and these definitely aren't for kids! Yes, what I consider to be the essential elements of Dahl's work - gleefully nasty fates for the mostly deserving, a tendency towards the shaggy dog story and of course, the sting in the tail - but all are amped up and woven through with decidedly non-child-friendly elements. It's interesting reading all his short stories to spot w...more
Mar 01, 2014 astried marked it as till-next-time
Honestly, I can't read too many Dahl's short story in one go. They're either too sinister, scary or horrifying and bound to give you literary equivalent of indigestion if taken too much. It's not to say that they're also most wonderful and memorable stories; but, moderation in all things, right?

I'll be reading this in-between other stuffs from now on.
Rowan MacBean

Most people are familiar with Dahl because of his kiddie lit. His short stories are the same sort of thing; dark and twisted but written in such a carefree and amusing way that you don't realize it unless you actually take a moment to stop and think about it. Roald Dahl's work is weird in its very own unique way. There aren't adequate words to describe it. I think he's one of those authors who create an atmosphere that readers will either love or hate, with very little room in between o...more
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Do you have a favourite short story/short story collection? 2 6 Aug 14, 2014 07:57AM  
The perfect short Story 2 47 Nov 29, 2012 12:33AM  
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Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors.

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime a...more
More about Roald Dahl...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) Matilda James and the Giant Peach The BFG The Witches

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“There are many other little refinements too, Mr. Bohlen. You'll see them all when you study the plans carefully. For example, there's a trick that nearly every writer uses, of inserting at least one long, obscure word into each story. This makes the reader think that the man is very wise and clever. So I have the machine do the same thing. There'll be a whole stack of long words stored away just for this purpose."
In the 'word-memory' section," he said, epexegetically.”
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